There was a story on NPR this morning about a woman who, in the 1980s, began sending money to the U.S. government in an effort to help pay down the national debt. She even started an organization the purpose of which was to convince other people to do the same. My first response to this was: Are you fucking kidding me?!?! It’s not enough to have part of your salary taken without your consent and used by congressmen to buy votes or create jobs secure campaign contributions by funneling cash to their politically connected friends in the “private sector,” or used to bail out banks, or build more prisons, or to continue to wage endless war on unsuspecting villagers in Afghanistan, etc., etc. No, what you have to do is give these criminal scumbags more of your money, voluntarily.
The article portrayed the woman as a somewhat kooky idealist, fighting a noble though losing battle against the inevitable expansion of government, rather than as a fool or an inveterate sucker. I have to wonder, though, what if she had been an employee of, say, WalMart, and decided to help the company’s sagging bottom line by volunteering to work overtime and weekends for free? How would she have been portrayed in that case?
If you want to give your money away, give it to a charity or some kind of organization that does something useful. But if you’re just going to give it to the government, you might as well scatter it in the wind, or flush it down the toilet, or set it on fire.